Do you get immensely happy with a certain product or service and immediately want to tell your friend about it? Well, the brand that you recommend is at gains here, as it gets a loyal customer as well as a new potential customer. This is called word-of-mouth marketing and it is considered to be the most trusted form of advertising.

Apart from providing great service, running referral email campaigns can be a great way to generate new leads for your business and grow your email subscribers’ list. A research shows that 89% women consider recommendations from a friend, peer or family member more than those from a brand. 🙂

Thus, sending emails to your customers to ask them to refer your brand to their friends, can help you in gaining more customers. A successful referral email campaign will be of help to your business as it does the following:

  1. Generates word-of-mouth marketing
  2. Increases overall traffic to your website
  3. Acquires customers at lower acquisition cost
  4. Increases conversion rates among existing users
  5. Increases customer engagement

Thinking of putting up a referral program in your next email campaign and need some ideas and inspirations? Monks are here to help you out!

The key areas to focus on

Incentives you offer: Include relevant customized offers and incentives that are beneficial and compelling enough for people to share and engage with. This will boost conversions and participation in your referral email campaign.

Look and feel of the email: Keep the content and design of your email simple yet attractive and convincing for your existing users to share with their peers.

Marketing strategy you use: Target your royal customers and make your program visible. The reference experience must be as smooth as possible, and this can be achieved by placing a clear ‘Refer to a friend’ CTA in the email. Send the referral email once every week to increase engagement and gain more customers.

Interesting Referral Email Examples from Brands


Belk, the online department store company, offers its customers 3 different exciting offers. The message is clear and concise, followed by a CTA that persuades the viewers to click. Apart from this, the email has a “forward email to a friend” option, followed by social sharing buttons, which widen the horizon for sharing.

Belk_referral email

Digital Ocean

Digital Ocean, the cloud computing company, has depicted the referral offer with an interesting GIF image. Though the image conveys the message clearly, the text and CTA further elaborate the message. This email makes use of all the elements effectively to make sure the customer clicks.

DigitalOcean_referral email


Gilt’s referral email has a clean design and bold CTA. The text ‘$25 For You + $25 For Friends” entices the customers to engage with the email. The $25 double-sided reward is a fair deal for both the referrer and the referee. It has an easy to access navigation menu, app store links, and social sharing buttons, too.

Gilt_referral email

Neiman Marcus

The best thing about this referral email from Neiman Marcus is its imagery, an eye-catching header, and clear sharing instructions. The bold CTA and minimal copy makes it a crisp and concise email.

Neiman Marcus_referral email

Wrapping Up

Referral campaigns is an essential tool that helps in increasing conversions, sales, and customer base for your business. Choose the strategy that suits best to your business.

Do you have ideas for interesting referral email campaigns or strategies? Do share them with us!